On July 2, 2012 Doris Bures, Minister for Transport, Innovation and Technology, and Gerhard Roiss, OMV CEO, opened the BioCRACK pilot plant at the OMV Refinery in Schwechat. The plant is the first of its kind in the world and converts solid biomass – such as wood chips and straw – directly into diesel fuel. The pilot plant fulfils two fundamental tasks: producing diesel to meet the growing demand, while simultaneously increasing the biogenic share. This innovative process is therefore setting the course for the future.
OMV and BDI – BioEnergy International AG, have been jointly involved in the innovative BioCRACK pilot plant project since 2009, with support from the BMVIT and the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund. Explaining the background to the project, OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss, said: “The European fuel market faces considerable challenges: it must meet the growing demand for diesel and raise the renewable energy share in the transport fuel sector to at least 10 percent by 2020. Conventional first-generation biofuels are not a long-term solution because the cultivation of the necessary raw materials competes with food production.”
Second-generation fuels will be extracted from biomass, using excess of agriculture and forestry (e.g. wood chips and straw) but without the use of food. This means the fuels will not compete with areas that are needed for food production. A further advantage of the second generation biofuels is the excellent environmental balance (fewer CO2 emissions in production).